Sunday, December 16, 2018

AI Research Funded By Silicon Valley NEDians at Their Alma Mater in Karachi

Koshish Foundation, an organization funded primarily by NED University Alumni in Silicon Valley, helped fund Koshish Foundation Research Lab (KFRL) in Karachi back in 2014. It has since received additional funding from numerous national and international organizations including DAAD,  German Academic Exchange Service. The lab has been renamed RCAI- Research Center For Artificial Intelligence.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Applications
In a letter addressed to NEDians Suhail Muhammad and Raghib Husain,  the RCAI director Dr. Muhammad Khurram said, "I would really like to thank you (and Koshish Foundation) who helped me in making things happen in the start. Still, a lot needs to be done."

Dr. Ata ur Rahman Khan, former chairman of Pakistan Higher Education Commission (HEC), believes there is significant potential to grow artificial intelligence technology and products. In a recent Op Ed in The News, Dr. Khan wrote as follows:

"Pakistan churns out about 22,000 computer-science graduates each year. With additional high-quality training, a significant portion of these graduates could be transformed into a small army of highly-skilled professionals who could develop a range of AI products and earn billions of dollars in exports."

It's notable that Pakistan's tech exports are growing by double digits and surged past $1 billion in fiscal 2018, according to State Bank of Pakistan.

Dutch publication innovationorigins.com recently featured a young Pakistani Tufail Shahzad from Dajal village in Rajanpur District in southern Punjab. Tufail has studied artificial intelligence at universities in China and Belgium.  He's currently working in Eindhoven on artificial intelligence (AI) projects as naval architect and innovation manager at MasterShip Netherlands.

There is at least one Pakistani AI-based startup called Afiniti, founded by serial Pakistani-American entrepreneur Zia Chishti. Afiniti has recently raised series D round of $130 million at $1.6 billion valuation, according to Inventiva. Bulk of the Afiniti development team is located in Thokar Niaz Baig, Lahore. In addition, the company has development team members in Islamabad and Karachi.

Afiniti uses artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to enable real-time, optimized pairing of individual call center agents with individual customers in large enterprises for best results. When a customer contacts a call center, Afiniti matches his or her phone number with any information related to it from up to 100 databases, according to VentureBeat. These databases carry purchase history, income, credit history, social media profiles and other demographic information. Based on this information, Afiniti routes the call directly to an agent who has been determined, based on their own history, to be most effective in closing deals with customers who have similar characteristics.

This latest series D round includes former Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg; Fred Ryan, the CEO and publisher of the Washington Post; and investors Global Asset Management, The Resource Group (which Chishti helped found), Zeke Capital, as well as unnamed Australian investors. Investors in Afiniti's C series round included GAM; McKinsey and Co; the Resource Group (TRG); G3 investments (run by Richard Gephardt); Elisabeth Murdoch; Sylvain Héfès; John Browne, former CEO of BP; Ivan Seidenfeld; and Larry Babbio, a former president of Verizon. The company has now raised more than $100 million, including the money previously raised, according to VentureBeat's sources.

Drone is an example of artificial intelligence application. It now a household word in Pakistan. Drones outrage many Pakistanis when used by Americans to hunt militants and launch missiles in FATA. At the same time, drones inspire a young generation of students to study artificial intelligence at 60 engineering colleges and universities in Pakistan. It has given rise to robotics competitions at engineering universities like National University of Science and Technology (NUST) and my alma mater NED Engineering University. Continuing reports of new civilian uses of drone technology are adding to the growing interest of Pakistanis in robotics.

Dr. Ata ur Rehman Khan rightly argues in his Op Ed that AI should be an area of focus for research and development in Pakistan. He says that "the advantage of investing in areas such as artificial intelligence is that no major investments are needed in terms of infrastructure or heavy machinery and the results can become visible within a few years".  "Artificial intelligence will find applications in almost every sphere of activity, ranging from industrial automation to defense, from surgical robots to stock-market assessment, and from driverless cars to agricultural sensors controlling fertilizers and pesticide inputs", Dr. Khan adds.


Related Links:

Haq's Musings

NED Alum Raghib Husain Sells Silicon Valley Company for $7.5 Billion

Pakistan's Tech Exports Surge Past $1 Billion in FY 2018

NED Alum Naveed Sherwani Raises $50 Million For SiFive Silicon Valley Startup

OPEN Silicon Valley Forum 2017: Pakistani Entrepreneurs Conference

Pakistani-American's Tech Unicorn Files For IPO at $1.6 Billion Valuation

Pakistani-American Cofounders Sell Startup to Cisco for $610 million

Pakistani Brothers Spawned $20 Billion Security Software Industry

Pakistani-American Ashar Aziz's Fireeye Goes Public

Pakistani-American Pioneered 3D Technology in Orthodontics

Pakistani-Americans Enabling 2nd Machine Revolution

Pakistani-American Shahid Khan Richest South Asian in America

Two Pakistani-American Silicon Valley Techs Among Top 5 VC Deals

Pakistani-American's Game-Changing Vision 

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fantastic news. Karachi and Lahore are set to be transformed in next decade. The best and biggest investment ever seen will be announced shortly by team IK.

Exclusively for your readers and thanks to our friends in Saud family, the package is tipped to include world class financial city in Karachi, Medical clusters in Lahore and Islamabad, logistics and transshipment hub in Gawadar, manufacturing SEZ all over the country, generous donations to Dam Fund and Army foundations. Watch out for big news and thank me later.

Yaseen said...

for AI we need to develop good quality neural networks which help in machine learning capability which is difficult as we lack in good quality chip manufacturing for simple smartphone or computer

Riaz Haq said...

Yaseen: "for AI we need to develop good quality neural networks which help in machine learning capability which is difficult as we lack in good quality chip manufacturing for simple smartphone or computer"

Computer chips can be bought on open market. Embedded cores allow you to customize for your particular application. Pakistani-American NED alum Dr. Naveed Shewani's SiFive sells core IP (intellectual property) based on RISC V ISA. The company's IP Cores are the most widely deployed RISC-V cores in the world. SiFive Core IP is verified and delivered in Verilog for custom SoC (System on Chip) designs.

https://www.riazhaq.com/2018/05/pakistani-american-ned-alum-raises-50.html

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistani #tech #startup develops #AI #journalist. “With Dante’s help, #media outlets can produce endless original content as it neither sleeps nor tires,” Founder Shiekh says produces content in different formats like online, #radio, #print, #television http://www.arabnews.com/node/1187761#.XBg9J8xM_uE.twitter

A Pakistani tech company has developed an artificially intelligent journalist, the first of its kind, which can produce a complete news item in just a few seconds.
Dante is currently producing 350-word closing reports for the Pakistan Stock Exchange, as well as six-month charts and graphs showing market trends.
“This news-writing bot produces 100 percent original content in just two to three seconds after accessing relevant data from newswires, local and international media outlets,” Anis Shiekh, founder of baseH — the company that created Dante — told Arab News.
“It’s not going to replace reporters and editors. Rather, it will help newsroom staff carry out their work smoothly and quickly.”
Dante can automatically develop and maintain its own archive, and can provide context and background to articles.
“With Dante’s help, media outlets can produce endless original content as it neither sleeps nor tires,” Shiekh said, adding that it can easily produce content in different formats such as online, radio, print and television.
Content generated by Dante was shared with senior Pakistani journalists and editors for feedback.

“It was amazing,” Khurram Shahzad told Arab News. “It was so perfect that it hardly required any editing or even proofreading.”
The working prototype can quickly adapt to new writing styles, editorial policies and preferences, so it can easily be deployed anywhere.
Shiekh said numerous brokerage firms and media houses in Pakistan have expressed their interest in buying Dante, but baseH has decided to provide services via subscription only.
Regarding the company’s future plans, he said it is concentrating on tailoring Dante to produce content on the 2018 World Cup, and to write 700-800-word articles on various subjects, including sports, education, health, entertainment and foreign affairs.
“Our subscribers will be able to get original articles instantly on their required subject by just entering a few keywords related to the topic,” said Shiekh.
His company has been working on Dante since 2009, at a cost so far of more than 6 million Pakistani rupees ($56,980).

Anonymous said...

There are many amazing things going on in Pakistan's tech industry. Some of them were collected in a wonderful book Entrepreneuring Pakistan: 27 stories of struggle, failure and success. By Azhar Rizvi.

This book is available free of charge for Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

Zamir

Anonymous said...

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-07841-9?utm_source=fbk_nnc&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=naturenews&sf204748004=1

Zamir

Pervesh Maheshwari said...

happy to hear, I was once Interviewed for RCAI, i wish I would have joined

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan prepares for #5G public #trial in 2019. Draft framework for 5G enables use of radio spectrum on trial basis for noncommercial purposes to carry out trials for innovative use of radio frequency spectrum, apparatus/equipment and academic purposes https://dailytimes.com.pk/337738/pakistan-prepares-for-5g-public-trials-in-2019/

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has unveiled its plans for the Fifth Generation (5G) Wireless Networks public trials, demonstrate systems and/or services in Pakistan.

In this connection, the regulator Wednesday has issued draft framework for test and development of future technologies particularly for 5G wireless networks in Pakistan 2018.



According to the PTA, the rapid growth in mobile data traffic and consumer demand for enhanced mobile broadband experience have led to an increasing emphasis on the upcoming fifth generation of mobile technology (5G).

“Seen as a comprehensive wireless-access solution with the capacity to address the demands and requirements of mobile communication beyond IMT-2020, it is projected that this technology will operate in a highly heterogeneous environment and provide ubiquitous connectivity for a wide range of devices, new applications and use cases”.

IMT-2020 is a term developed by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)’s Radio communication Sector in 2012 to develop the vision of “IMT for 2020 and beyond.” The ITU has set a timeline that calls for the standard to be finished in 2020.

Pakistani telecom regulator said the scope of IMT-2020 is much broader than previous generations of mobile broadband communication systems. The ITU’s work in developing the specifications for IMT-2020 in close collaboration with the whole gamut of 5G stakeholders is now well underway along with the associated spectrum management and spectrum identification aspects. IMT-2020 will be a cornerstone for all of the activities related to attaining the goals in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The draft framework for 5G enables the use of radio spectrum on trial basis for noncommercial purposes to carry out trials for innovative use of radio frequency spectrum, apparatus/equipment and academic purposes including but not limited to scientific research, radio concepts and new systems demonstrations, added PTA.



The PTA said Government of Pakistan (GoP) policy directive based framework invites all stakeholders for participation in subject trials.

The framework has been issued only for temporary Test and Development licenses/authorizations which shall include criteria for the provision of authorization, conditions, duration, and other terms and conditions.

The Frequency Allocation Board (FAB) shall assign the spectrum to be used for subject trials which shall become effective from the date of Authorization issued by PTA.

It is important to mention here that the PTA said mere assignment of spectrum by FAB would not give right to the applicant for use of the same until Authorization is obtained from PTA.

The Test & Development Authorization allows an applicant to use spectrum on non-exclusive, non-commercial basis temporarily for the testing purposes.

There is no regulatory fee associated with subject non-commercial trial permission or the spectrum usage for said purpose. Also, users/consumers will not be charged for any services offered during the trial. The trial shall last for the period of three (03) to Six (06) months or as stated in the Authorization issued by PTA Spectrum for the trial will be available only at the designated test sites subject to localized restrictions (if any) due to National security issues.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan’s place in #AI and #computing. “If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.” @ArifAlvi #technology #science #STEM https://tribune.com.pk/story/1892350/6-pakistans-place-ai-computing/

In the world of science and technology, it is being said that we are at the beginning of the fourth industrial revolution. The first brought in the age of mechanised production from iron, steel, coal and steam. The second was the result of internal combustion engine and electricity. The third was the digital revolution of information technology brought in by silicon, personal computers, cellphones and the internet. With the exponential ability to store data, the skillset required to analyse it has been left far behind.

The fourth industrial revolution has now begun. It is marked by emerging technology breakthroughs primarily in the following 10 areas, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics, Internet of Things, 5G Broadband, 3D printing, Autonomous Vehicles, Cloud Computing, Blockchain like Distributed Ledgers Technology, Biotechnology and Precision Medicine, and Augmented Reality.

Klaus Schwab in his book The Fourth Industrial Revolution states that previous industrial revolutions liberated man from animal power, made mass production possible and brought digital capabilities to billions of people, but the fourth is fundamentally different. It is characterised by a range of new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, impacting all disciplines, economies and industries, and even challenging ideas about what it means to be human.

Reasoning has been the biggest strength of humankind but now it can be relegated to machines. Raw, brute crunching of data was done earlier by super computers like the IBM Deep Blue that defeated Gary Kasporov in 1997. Deep Blue was tutored in the basics of chess and had in its memory the strategy employed by grandmasters in thousands of games previously played.

This year AlphaZero made by Alphabet came up with a unique Algorithm for learning of chess. It started with no knowledge of the game beyond its basic rules, but then it played against itself millions of times and learned from its mistakes. In a matter of hours, it taught itself enough to take on the biggest computational beast that exists in chess called ‘Stockfish’. The latter was doing 60 million calculations per second while AlphaZero examined only 60,000 but beat Stockfish hollow. In a nutshell this is AI and machine learning. AlphaZero thought smarter not faster.

The convergence of data with massive storage and analytical abilities when applied to available genomic and health data will be creating phenomenal change in human health. A US health service provider ‘Epic’ has health data of more than 100 million individuals. The analysis of such mega data can exponentially improve diagnostics and treatment. ReLeaSE, another algorithm-based programme, comprises two neural networks that can be thought of as a teacher and a student. The teacher neural network knows the rules behind chemical structures of about 1.7 million known biologically active molecules. By working with the teacher, the student neural network learns over time and becomes better at proposing molecules that are likely to be useful in new drugs. Combining CRISPR the gene sequencing and editing technology with AI drug development programmes, can dramatically revolutionise healthcare.

Augmented reality and virtual reality will overlay data-related information on the real world for example in surgery where layers of tissue shall not have to be dissected in search for diseased foci as the surgeon would be able to see the whole thing in 3D before dissection. Increasingly machines, for example autonomous vehicles, are making decisions with little intervention by humans. Some understanding of this new reality has enabled seven out of top 10 largest companies of 2018, Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft, Facebook, Ali Baba and Tencents to become economic powerhouses.

Riaz Haq said...

#Google chief Sundar Pichai calls for AI regulation, moratorium on facial recognition. #ArtificialInteligence #FacialRecognition | Financial Times

https://www.ft.com/content/73a3fd18-3bb5-11ea-b232-000f4477fbca



Growing up in India, I was fascinated by technology. Each new invention changed my family’s life in meaningful ways. The telephone saved us long trips to the hospital for test results. The refrigerator meant we could spend less time preparing meals, and television allowed us to see the world news and cricket matches we had only imagined while listening to the short-wave radio.

Now, it is my privilege to help to shape new technologies that we hope will be life-changing for people everywhere. One of the most promising is artificial intelligence: just this month there have been three concrete examples of how Alphabet and Google are tapping AI’s potential. Nature published our research showing that an AI model can help doctors spot breast cancer in mammograms with greater accuracy; we are using AI to make immediate, hyperlocal forecasts of rainfall more quickly and accurately than existing models as part of a larger set of tools to fight climate change; and Lufthansa Group is working with our cloud division to test the use of AI to help reduce flight delays.

Yet history is full of examples of how technology’s virtues aren’t guaranteed. Internal combustion engines allowed people to travel beyond their own areas but also caused more accidents. The internet made it possible to connect with anyone and get information from anywhere, but also easier for misinformation to spread.

These lessons teach us that we need to be clear-eyed about what could go wrong. There are real concerns about the potential negative consequences of AI, from deepfakes to nefarious uses of facial recognition. While there is already some work being done to address these concerns, there will inevitably be more challenges ahead that no one company or industry can solve alone.

The EU and the US are already starting to develop regulatory proposals. International alignment will be critical to making global standards work. To get there, we need agreement on core values. Companies such as ours cannot just build promising new technology and let market forces decide how it will be used. It is equally incumbent on us to make sure that technology is harnessed for good and available to everyone.

Now there is no question in my mind that artificial intelligence needs to be regulated. It is too important not to. The only question is how to approach it.

That’s why in 2018, Google published our own AI principles to help guide ethical development and use of the technology. These guidelines help us avoid bias, test rigorously for safety, design with privacy top of mind, and make the technology accountable to people. They also specify areas where we will not design or deploy AI, such as to support mass surveillance or violate human rights.

But principles that remain on paper are meaningless. So we’ve also developed tools to put them into action, such as testing AI decisions for fairness and conducting independent human-rights assessments of new products. We have gone even further and made these tools and related open-source code widely available, which will empower others to use AI for good. We believe that any company developing new AI tools should also adopt guiding principles and rigorous review processes.

Government regulation will also play an important role. We don’t have to start from scratch. Existing rules such as Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation can serve as a strong foundation. Good regulatory frameworks will consider safety, explainability, fairness and accountability to ensure we develop the right tools in the right ways. Sensible regulation must also take a proportionate approach, balancing potential harms, especially in high-risk areas, with social opportunities.

Riaz Haq said...

#Google chief Sundar Pichai calls for AI regulation, moratorium on facial recognition. #ArtificialInteligence #FacialRecognition | Financial Times

https://www.ft.com/content/73a3fd18-3bb5-11ea-b232-000f4477fbca


Regulation can provide broad guidance while allowing for tailored implementation in different sectors. For some AI uses, such as regulated medical devices including AI-assisted heart monitors, existing frameworks are good starting points. For newer areas such as self-driving vehicles, governments will need to establish appropriate new rules that consider all relevant costs and benefits.

Google’s role starts with recognising the need for a principled and regulated approach to applying AI, but it doesn’t end there. We want to be a helpful and engaged partner to regulators as they grapple with the inevitable tensions and trade-offs. We offer our expertise, experience and tools as we navigate these issues together.

AI has the potential to improve billions of lives, and the biggest risk may be failing to do so. By ensuring it is developed responsibly in a way that benefits everyone, we can inspire future generations to believe in the power of technology as much as I do.

Riaz Haq said...

Eric Schmdt: Computer science in 1970s & ’80s funded by US Government. #Trump now proposing to double funding for #AI and quantum computing for #NationalSecurity. Need to up #biotechnology funding. #Americans Beware of #China Getting Ahead in #technology https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/27/opinion/eric-schmidt-ai-china.html

Many of Silicon Valley’s leaders got their start with grants from the federal government — including me. My graduate work in computer science in the 1970s and ’80s was funded in part by the National Science Foundation and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

But in recent years, Americans — Silicon Valley leaders included — have put too much faith in the private sector to ensure U.S. global leadership in new technology. Now we are in a technology competition with China that has profound ramifications for our economy and defense — a reality I have come to appreciate as chairman of two government panels on innovation and national security. The government needs to get back in the game in a serious way.

Important trends are not in our favor. America’s lead in artificial intelligence, for example, is precarious. A.I. will open new frontiers in everything from biotechnology to banking, and it is also a Defense Department priority. Leading the world in A.I. is essential to growing our economy and protecting our security. A recent study considering more than 100 metrics finds that the United States is well ahead of China today but will fall behind in five to 10 years. China also has almost twice as many supercomputers and about 15 times as many deployed 5G base stations as the United States. If current trends continue, China’s overall investments in research and development are expected to surpass those of the United States within 10 years, around the same time its economy is projected to become larger than ours.

Riaz Haq said...

AI drives driverless trucks being tested right now on public roads
60 Minutes climbs aboard for a look at the very near future of transportation and technology that could eliminate as many as 300,000 jobs, Sunday.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/driverless-trucks-being-tested-on-public-roads-60-minutes-2020-03-13/

Few are aware that driverless 18-wheelers are already on the road. The test runs on highways have humans in them just in case sensors or computers fail, but an autonomous trucking executive says by next year, they won't. The future of freight on America's roads can be a driverless one, this executive says. And that's news to many, especially the truck drivers who stand to lose their livelihoods. 60 Minutes cameras ride aboard a test run and Jon Wertheim reports on the potential disruption to a storied American industry on the next edition of 60 Minutes, Sunday, March 15 at 7 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

"We believe we'll be able to do our first driver-out demonstration runs on public highways in 2021," says Chuck Price, chief product officer at TuSimple, an autonomous trucking firm with operations in the U.S. and China. With a proving ground in Arizona, TuSimple is one of several firms hoping to make billions in an industry that moves over 70% of the nation's goods

Sensors, cameras and radar devices affixed to the rig feed data to the artificial intelligence-driven supercomputer that controls the truck. Price says his product is superior to others. "Our system can see farther than any other autonomous system in the world. We can see forward over a half-mile… day, night and in the rain. And in the rain at night," he says.

Maureen Fitzgerald, a truck driver who works for TuSimple, says the system drives the truck better than she could. "This truck is scanning mirrors, looking 1,000 meters out. It's processing all the things that my brain could never do and it can react 15 times faster than I could," says Fitzgerald.

Steve Viscelli is a sociologist at the University of Pennsylvania and an expert on freight transportation and automation. He says the disruption to the industry will be severe, "I've identified two segments that I think are most at-risk. And that's-- refrigerated and dry van truckload. And those constitute about 200,000 trucking jobs," says Viscelli. "And then what's called line haul and they're somewhere in the neighborhood of 80,000-90,000 jobs there."

Truckers 60 Minutes spoke to were understandably wary of the new technology, especially how it will react when a human, such as a police officer, issues commands on the road in an emergency. The companies say they're working on all these scenarios, but won't divulge business secrets. That's a problem for Sam Loesche, a representative for the Teamsters and 600,000 truckers. He thinks there isn't enough federal, state or local government oversight on the new technology. "A lot of this information, understandably, is proprietary. Tech companies want to keep… secret until they can kind of get it right. The problem is that, in the meantime, they're testing this technology… next to you as you drive down the road," Loesche tells Wertheim.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan #AirForce Chief Opens Centre Of Artificial Intelligence & Computing. #technology has altered the nature of warfare in the 21st century & the vision of the center is to harness the potential of #ArtificialIntelligence in #PAF ops. UrduPoint

https://www.urdupoint.com/en/pakistan/air-chief-inaugurates-centre-of-artificial-in-1012877.html

Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan was the chief guest at the occasion, said a PAF press release.

The Air Chief formally inaugurated the newly established centre by unveiling the plaque.

Addressing the ceremony, the Air Chief said that establishment of CENTAIC was indeed a landmark initiative in the evolutionary journey of PAF which would lead Artificial Inteligence Research and Development in both civil and military spheres.

---------------------------

It’s just one AI application the Army is exploring with combat applications, said Brig. Gen. Matt Easley, head of the service’s Artificial Intelligence Task Force, said last week at the Association of the U.S. Army annual meeting in Washington.

Shooting down drones, aiming tank guns, coordinating resupply and maintenance, planning artillery barrages, stitching different sensor feeds together into a coherent picture, analyzing how terrain blocks units’ fields of fire and warning commanders where there are blind spots in their defenses are all military applications for which the Army will test AI.

The most high-profile example of AI on the battlefield to date, the controversial Project Maven, used machine learning algorithms to sift hours of full-motion video looking for suspected terrorists and insurgents. By contrast, Easley said, the new application looks for tanks and other targets of interest in a major-power war, he said, in keeping with the Pentagon’s increasing focus on Russia and China. https://www.militaryaerospace.com/computers/article/14069203/artificial-intelligence-ai-machine-learning-military-applications